K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020

The government of South Korea is inviting applications for its ace program K-Startup Grand Challenge till June 25th, 2020. The program, supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) is an all-expenses-paid first of its kind program in Asia with grand prizes for the top five teams.

What is K-Startup Grand Challenge?

It is a 3-month-long startup accelerator program financed by the South Korean government in an initiative to support foreign startups that want to foray into the South Korean market and explore other international markets. The program was started back in 2016 and has been promoting Korea as the global leading startup business hub since.

In 2020, there is scope for 60 talented and innovative startup teams to be part of the enriching program. The Startup Campus is in Pangyo Techno Valley, 14 minutes south of Gangnam, South Korea.

Benefits & Prizes

The best winning team gets $120,000 (around ₹90 lakhs) and further assistance to grow and bloom business in South Korea. Furthermore, the teams get benefits like networking opportunities, expert assistance, financial support, and mentorship.

The startups may look into this as an opportunity for international growth given the stronghold of Korea in the Asian market as well as its geographical location and strategically beneficial relationships with other countries in the sub-continent.

The Schedule


The selected team of 60 startups will participate in the accelerator program from September 1st, 2020 to November 30th, 2020. The top 30 will attend the demo day from November 19th, 2020 to November 21, 2020, and get further support for business development from January 2021 to April 2021.

How to Apply for K-Startup Grand Challenge?

Startups can apply online by visiting the official website of the K-Startup Grand Challenge 2020. The application process has already been started and the deadline for submission is June 25th, 2020. An expert panel of judges will review the application and the selection process will begin in early July 2020.

Who can apply?

  • Startups less than 7 years-old or Pre-entrepreneur whose representative holds a foreign nationality or is an -overseas Korean (foreign compatriot).
  • Promising startups with a clear objective to expand into Asia by using the Korean market as a stepping stone.
  • Startups with interests in Artificial Intelligence, Big-Data, Cloud computing, Networking, IoT, Robotics, Auto Tech, VR/AR/MR, Smart city, Health, Semiconductor, Green, 3D printing, Blockchain, Fintech, Information Security, e-commerce, O2O, Logistics, Media, etc. are encouraged to apply.

About K-Startup Grand Challenge 2019

The program had received more than 1,677 applications from 95 countries in 2019 out of which 38 teams were selected from Europe, Asia and the Americas for the accelerator program. Out of that, 20 teams were selected for the final demo day and received further assistance and guidance from January to April 2020.

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